Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) doesn't listen to the Penn State critics or the naysayers when it comes to the sanctions. He trusts just one person's judgment with that.
"I really respect her opinion on a lot of things and, if she likes a school, I'll consider them," the 2014 defensive end said. "And she really likes Penn State. A lot of people heard about the scandal but, when my mom heard it, she said that doesn't mean it's off the list or a bad school. One bad apple doesn't spoil the bunch."
The ESPN Watch List prospect, who holds a PSU offer, says he’ll often lean on his mother when it comes to determining whether a school is a right fit. Even in the weeks immediately following the sanctions, his mother advised him not to eliminate the university. And Allen-Williams said that’s meant a lot.
"I could see myself playing at Penn State," he said. "Penn State has a great academic program there and, like I said, academics is probably one of my top things that will determine where I play college football. Everyone doesn't make it to the NFL, so you need a great education."
Allen-Williams hasn't heard much from the coaching staff since his August offer. But he said that lack of contact didn't upset him; he figured they had more important things to focus on and would touch base after the season.
The 6-foot-3, 233-pound prospect said he hopes to cultivate a better bond with the staff before forming a solid opinion about the university. But, for now, he said he's trying to research all nine schools that have offered him -- the most recent of which was USC -- and is attempting to keep an open mind.
"Me, personally, I feel like if a school offered me then I should really consider them," he added.
The high school junior has taken several unofficial visits to nearby schools, including Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia. He plans to visit USC at some point in the future and would like to see Happy Valley over the summer.
"Penn State's got a lot of tradition," he said.